Reviewing sp_sysmon Output: Other sp_sysmon Tricks

    By: Jeffrey Ross Garbus on Jul 01, 2014

    This article takes a detailed look at the output of sp_sysmon in order to show you some useful tricks that you can use to assist you with your tuning tasks.

    In a previous sp_sysmon article, we discussed using sp_sysmon to examine cache utilization and tuning. In this article, we’re going to identify a few other things sp_sysmon will help you with.

    There are two kinds of shops successful at tuning: the first has been running sp_sysmon automatically, every 5 or 10 or 15 minutes, since inception (a few decades some places); the other uses a tool. Tools are beyond scope for this article; but if you’d like some recommendations, send us an email.

    Note: there are combinations here; some folks write tools to grab and store information from the MDA tables – it's much easier to use a tool. So, unless you are at a shop that runs tools, and even if you are, it’s important to be able to tune using sp_sysmon output.

    The great DBA is FLEXIBLE, and uses all tools at his/her disposal. While many of the sections are obvious, here are some tips for things you might not recognize immediately. Let's start with Task Context Switches Due To:


    SAP ASE is an operating system within itself, and does its own memory management and swapping. So, if you have 1000 processes running, and only 8 processors, there’s some sharing going on.

    Because the processors need to share to perform work requested by all the processors, after a while the processor needs to let go of the process, and work on the next process in the runnable queue.

    “A while” means that there are circumstances where the process swaps out; I’m not going to repeat what you’ll find in the book on all of the above circumstances, but I will point out a few things:


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